The Negros Occidental provincial government continues to assist Negrenses stranded in various parts of the country, including a group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are still in Cebu.
As of Tuesday, some 1,614 persons have registered in the Capitol’s Humanitarian and Response Cluster online database, covering April 20 to May 3.
Zeaphard Caelian, chief of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said those who are listed on the site registration were being contacted to determine if they are willing to come home.
Of the number, 114 have been transported back to the province from Metro Manila, including 46 for the first batch and 68 for the second batch.
“We call them and inform them (about the requirements). Some have their own reasons why they cannot take the flight from Manila,” Caelian said.
On May 2, a total of 68 Negrenses arrived from Manila on board a Cebu Pacific sweeper flight, and are undergoing a 14-day mandatory quarantine in Mambukal Resort in Murcia town.
The provincial government has been prioritizing those who are not overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) since those who came from overseas employment are still required to undergo a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test.
However, the 27 OFWs, all residents of Negros Occidental, were accommodated by the province after they arrived at the Bredco port in Bacolod on April 28 aboard 2GO Group’s M/V St. Leo the Great.
The trip was a “Malasakit Voyage” arranged by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
Of the 27, one tested positive in the rapid antibody-based diagnostic test (RDT) and is isolated in the Provincial Healing Center in EB Magalona town.
The other 26 were transferred to the Go Hotel in Bacolod on Monday afternoon.
Caelian said they were also coordinating with OWWA 7 (Central Visayas) for the return of Negrense OFWs in Cebu, who already have rRT-PCR test results.
“We are now processing their travel requirements. The governor (Eugenio Jose Lacson) has already agreed to this rescue as long as they can submit their rRT-PCR results to the Incident Management Team,” he added.
Caelian said part of the process is asking authority from Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to allow the passage of the Negrense OFWs, who will sail from Tabuelan town, Cebu going to Escalante City in Negros Occidental.
This will be the second group of OFWs who will travel from Cebu after the first batch of 35 persons, who arrived in the province on April 14. (PNA)
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